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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#2,159: Tomorrowland

They Came Together - ★★½☆☆
I was not expecting an Airplane-style spoof of romantic comedies. There are a lot of jokes. More State-flavored than SNL, but less than I might have liked, with a dash of UCB.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night - ★★☆☆☆
I had more fun pondering what A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night In The Dark By Herself To The Far Side Of The World And Is Afraid To Ask Virginia Woolf While Drinking Her Juice In The Hood With The Coward Robert Ford was about and what it was trying to say than I did actually watching it. I also liked the parts with skateboarding.

Robocop (2014) - ★½☆☆☆
Science has made some real breakthroughs in the field of terrible Robocop movies.

I was hoping that things would be different enough in this outing to make direct comparisons to the original unnecessary, but it's like the original movie had been ripped to shreds, and just skeletal remains of its structure were somehow preserved and used as a core for the shiny plastic shell that makes up the bulk of this remake.

There are a lot of missteps here, but the biggest is undoubtedly not making Robocop the main character.

Tomorrowland - ★★★★½
This was delightful. I think it might even not be a horror film, and almost everything I've seen this year has been one of those. I worry that an extra minute or two of villain monologue is going to distract cynical critics from the hour and a half of wonder that got us to it.

Plus, it's fine that they cancelled that Bioshock movie. We don't need one of those anymore. This is that but better. It's even got all the things. This is the best one of those. Don't make the other thing.

 

#2,155: Max Max: Fury Road

Ip Man - ★★★☆☆
I always like a movie about someone who is good at what they do. And Ip Man does it with a big smile!

Ip Man 2 - ★★★☆☆
This movie is like Rocky 2, because it picks up just after part 1, but it's also like Rocky 3, because we have a crazy MMA-precusor bout between different fighting styles, but then it's also Rocky 4, because everything about Twister is Drago. And then, just for good measure, it's like Rocky 5 during that dumb pre-credits scene.

And for Mrs. Ip Man, this movie is like Jaws 2, because her character development has been undone for the sake of a second plot.

The Babadook - ★★☆☆☆
The first half of this movie had me. The slow burn build up, reminded me a little of The Exorcist. After a little while, I was even rooting for some kind of monster would show up to eat this pesky kid.

But his peskiness goes over some kind of line, from character to signal lantern. You can't help but feel it's being overplayed so that they can reverse you on him, and by the time he finally goes to sleep, the movie had lost me.

The second half is jammed full of so many Important Moments and Memorable Things and Clues that I never found any of it creepy again. I spent my time working out what the Big Message would be, as film beats the audience about the head and neck with it.

I guess I subscribe to the notion that there's nothing supernatural going on in this movie, just a sick, unreliable narrator.

Mad Max: Fury Road - ★★★★★
What really gets me about this is how deliberate everything is. This movie turned out great, but it could have been terrible and it would have been just as hard to make.

Watching the phalanx of crazy vehicles streaming towards the Fury Road itself to give chase, I could only hope that the people making new Star Wars movies care as much about them as George Miller and crew cared about making this.

#2,151: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Spin - ★★★☆☆
I wonder if a movie like this is technically achievable today - if the pre-air feeds are still available in our digital era. I suppose they still exist in some form; I recall watching the first airstrikes of the Iraq war on CNN's syndicate feed.

Anyhow, it was kind of fun to see all of these politicians playing the same games we play today, but with players we haven't seen in a while. I'm sure that's not the right take-away here.

The Exterminating Angel - ★★★☆☆
I wish I knew a little bit more about the time and politics in which this was made; I get the sense that darts were being thrown at targets I can't see. I was super on-board with the first half of the movie and surprised, almost disappointed, to see how few loose ends were left behind, which is an unusual feeling.

 

Lifeboat - ★★★★☆
I bought this DVD at least 10 years ago. More, probably. I carried it around with me everywhere for a time, ready to watch at a moment's notice. It was a real treat to finally open the plastic on this one... and then a real hassle to deal with all of the security stickers.

As much as it was a relief to finally see the movie, it was a greater relief that the movie itself was a good one. I'll sort this one into the upper half of my Hitchcock collection.

Avengers: Age of Ultron - ★★★★★
I have my suspicions that Age of Ultron is like a Harry Potter movie, which is to say that although it might not be very good as a piece of cinema, it's very effective at playing to its established fan base, which is one of the largest in the world at the moment. And as a target audience member, it worked on me just fine.